I visited Give Kids the World for a week in July 2013, alongside my patient and their family, as their personal RN. I was amazed with the magical atmosphere and the attention to detail within this wonderful place. There are vibrant colors, intriguing pathways, adorable characters/statues, and beautiful landscaping as far as the eye can see! The staff was eager to give assistance and were full of energy; answering all of our many questions (keep in mind we arrived VERY late) to the best of their ability. There were so many activities available. We were still exploring the grounds and seeing new things on our last day, such as the pool and game room. The water areas/pools were especially fun. I was able to witness my patient enjoy swimming in a pool for the first time, and boy was it cute!! We also enjoyed meeting characters, like Mary Poppins and Belle on the grounds of Give Kids the World and getting their autographs. The housing was clean and comfortable, with in suite laundry, which was very helpful. The extra spacious bathing area was particularly nice for my patient, who is wheel chair bound. Oh, and the daily gifts were a wonderful touch for the kids (Okay, I was excited for them too!). The food was delicious, fun, and served to us by kind and smiling faces in entertaining themed rooms. The on site ice cream parlor was the cherry on top to our once in a lifetime experience. I cannot thank Give Kids The World enough for their remarkable hosting job. They thought of everything, which allowed our experience to be worry free!
We got the great honor of being part of Give Kids the World through the Metro-NY Make a Wish Foundation. As soon as we touched down in Orlando, all of our needs were taken care of. A volunteer assisted us with our car rental and ensured that we knew the directions to get to the resort. When we got there, we were greeted warmly at the reception desk and escorted via golf cart to our villa and given thorough instructions on what to expect and how our week was going to be. We didn't have to think or wonder about anything because everyone was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in ensuring that our time there was as magical as it could be. There were parties and activities each and every day, everything was free and the people were so nice. There is nothing better than your child turning to you in the midst of all the fun and saying "Mommy my wish came true". Because of GKTW, they helped to make that happen!
My daughter has Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect called atrioventricular canal defect, she also has a pacemaker. For the last 7 years she has had 10 heart & pacemaker surgery. We visited GIVE KIDS THE WORLD this past September 2013. This was the perfect time for her WISH. She wanted to meet the princesses and with the help of A Wish Come True my family was able to go to GKTW and Disney. This was a once in a life time opportunity for my family. We had such a wonderful time. GKTW treated us so special. Such a magical place! The volunteers and workers are all amazing. We can not wait to go back and visit for a day. When my daughter gets older we would love to volunteer at GKTW.
My daughter and our family came to GKTW a year ago this October though the Make A Wish foundation. Olivia has a chronic condition that has us spending more time in hospitals and doctors offices than at home, much less a vacation. That week gave us renewed spirit, healed our souls, and provided hope for our future. My child had nothing to worry about, except being a kid, and a great one at that! We look forward to giving back in the future. In fact, we hope they are around for years to come, as my husband and I plan to retire in Kissimmee so we can spend as much time giving back as we can!
My family came to Give Kids the World through the Make A Wish Foundation. My son, Wyatt, is undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). The minute we arrived the entire place stole our hearts!!! From the greeter at the airport to the volunteers serving dinner, everyone's purpose was to make our stay the best time in our lives. There are activities daily for the children to participate in. The entire week was packed full of fun!!! Everyday my children started the day with a ride on the merry go round. They couldn't get enough of it. We will forever cherish our time spent at GKTW and we all hope to go back someday as volunteers. My children still ask about going back to their "Florida House". They definitely make you feel at home!!!
It was an unfathomable experience for our family. After watching our 3 1/2 year old daughter spend a year fighting a Stage IV cancer with horrible medications and life altering radiation, spending a week at Give Kids The World with other families who have children that are fighting similar battles and watching the kids and their siblings play and be "normal" is an incredible feeling. Give Kids The World is truly one of the greatest organizations on Earth!
Incredible visit to GKTW, creating precious family memories.
From start to finish, every part amazing, accomm great, staff brilliant.
Amazing place for kids from around the world
One year after our youngest son had brain surgery to removed he was granted a wish trip. We came to Give Kids the World not knowing what to expect. When we came we were blown away! The staff both paid and volunteer immediately embraced our family. Everything done at GKTW is done with excellence. It was such a special place for our three children but also for us too. There is a special element that is hard to put into words. I felt so blessed to spend a week there with my family. It was the perfect location for a wish trip!
My daughter was diagnosed with brain tumors and after radiation and during her year long chemo treatments was given the opportunity to have a wish come true through Make-A-Wish. She chose to go to the theme parks in Florida. We stayed for a week at Give Kids The World. We were able to make short trips to the theme parks and spent time at Give Kids The World. It was wonderful not having to worry about arranging meals and activities for a week so we could spend time together as a family. We played in the pools, ate meals onsite. We enjoyed having every need possible taken care of while we were in the middle off a traumatic situation.
My son has kidney failure and a subsequent kidney transplant. We had our trip to GKTW about 6 mo's after his surgery. It was a dream come true to be there. The people were awesome, the service was awesome, the grounds were amazing, and words really cannot express our experience.
When my son was four months old he was diagnosed as a failure to thrive. After many tests he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at nine months old. His whole life has been a lot of doctors appointments, very little good news followed by a lot of bad news and bad expectations. In August 2013 Jacob was approved for a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World and we had no clue what to expect. They provided EVERYTHING that we needed. We got to stay at Give Kids the World Village. It was AMAZING. We had a whole week of no worries about any personal or medical problems. They provided us with three free meals a day and Jacob could have Ice cream anytime he wanted it. He also got to "drive" their personal train. They left a gift on the table for Jacob every day we went out. We all played putt putt golf and participated in their daily activities. He really enjoyed it and had a great time. There was so much to do at the Village that if we wanted to just stay at the Village it still would have been a fun filled and relaxing trip. It was his first ever vacation and it was honestly the best trip we could have imagined for him. He was the center of attention for the whole week everywhere we went. We were so grateful to have been blessed with this trip and Give Kids the World Village, their staff and their volunteers were so amazing and made the trip so much better!! We thank them SO much.
Our son was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism not considered compatible with life. Though it was predicted he would not survive birth, he not only survived but was released from the hospital at six month of age. Initially, he need 24 hour nursing care. When he was three years old, we were blessed to be nominated for a wish with the Make A Wish foundation. The wish was to go to SeaWorld. The foundation arranged for us to stay at Give Kids The World during our week stay. 1.) I was extremely touched by the volunteer staff...their kindness, warmth and loving acts of service surpassed all expectations. Our son, though the only child there on a ventilator, was greeted kindly by every member of the staff. 2.) The accommodations were first class...a kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms and a bath with a walk-in shower able to fit a wheelchair and a sunken tub. Breakfast, lunch & dinner, served by volunteers with donated food from Perkins Restaurant was a treat. The all you can eat ice cream parlor was a hit. My son ate his first bite of ice cream there. He got his first brain freeze too. Disney character's came to take pictures with us. There are so many wonderful things about the village, I'm just touching on a few wonderful things. 3.) The surprise for us was learning how to travel with our extreme special needs child. We went out three times a day (at home it was once a week). We learned how to be sure we always had his emergency equipment with us including oxygen, suction equipment, ventilator and a fan which mounted on top of his stroller. I (Mom) was so protective, I didn't want to take my son out anywhere. The trip to Give Kids The World opened my eyes to the possibilities and changed our families life for the better. That week was like experiencing heaven on earth. It was truly a blessing for all of us.
While we were on my son's Wish Trip in Orlando we were able to stay at Give Kids The World and we loved our stay. As soon as we arrived the volunteers gave my children stuffed animals and played with them while we read through the paperwork and checked into the village. Next they showed us to our villa and the place was so well thought out. A full kitchen with some dishes in case we wanted to fix a meal ourselves but we didn't because there was plenty to eat throughout the day. An ice cream shop that opens at 7am encourages everyone to have ice cream for breakfast at least once. Daily! Yummy! There is also a bigger cafeteria that serves a full breakfast and full dinner. Also there is a smaller walk up window that serves Boston Market during lunch hours, there is a pizza delivery service and a cookie cart that delivers cookies to wherever you are. Don't forget the poolside party and cook out. All of the food was delicious and the entertainment throughout the village is so amazing that during our first hour there, the kids thought they were already at Disney! Give Kids The World provided a stroller for us to use while we were in Orlando so we didn't have to pack the one from home. When my son barfed on the floor in the ice cream shop the people volunteering in the shop handled the entire incident so well and told us we could just take care of our child and they would take care of the throw-up. I really appreciated that because I know it's hard to clean barf, especially when it belongs to a complete stranger. My kids still talk about how they thought it was cool we were able to drink whatever we wanted throughout the day while we were at The Village. Everything there is amazing. The carousel, the miniature train, the put-put golf course, the game room, the castle.....and everyone working in those areas were so enthusiastic and loved playing with the kids. I was very impressed with everything.
Our family came from Australia to have a week in the most magical place on earth. Our son had battled Leukaemia for over 3 years and spents 20 months straight hospitalised, so this trip was very special to us all. The Village is a place that dreams are made of! We honestly spent each day with the biggest smile on our faces, in complete awe of how a place and it's workers and volunteers could be this incredible! Nothing was too much trouble for anyone, there were themed parties for the children every night and everyone guests and staff alike, always had smiles on their faces. There will never be a holiday for our family like our week at Give Kids the World Village....we will treasure it always :)
Give Kids the World Village is the greatest place on earth! My family was lucky enough to spend our son Grant's Make a Wish trip there in July 2011. Grant was diagnosed with a very high risk form of leukemia in May 2009. He spent more than 200 nights in the hospital; spent dozens of days in the clinic; received very high doses of chemotherapy and suffered significant side effects of treatment. Our trip to GKTW took place 2/3 of the way through his treatment but at a time when he was feeling good and strong. My wife and worried constantly for the 2+ years between Grant's diagnosis and our trip to GKTW. Sometimes the worry was paralyzing. Because of the wonderfulness of GKTW we spent an entire week worry free. It was the greatest week of our lives. It was like we were in a different world, protected from all of the horrible things we had experienced. The volunteers were amazing. They treated us, especially Grant, like royalty. We spent every day at the theme parks but every night there was a wonderful activity at GKTW. And every morning there was ice cream for breakfast! We will always love GKTW. We miss it so much and we talk about it all the time. We even had a chance to go back for a day in March 2013 and volunteer. That was a very special day. We will be back to volunteer again.
We were there in April of 2013 with our daughter who was a wish kid!! We all had such an amazing time and could not have asked for anymore! The volunteers and staff were absolutely amazing. Words cannot express how greatful we are to everyone that was involved. Thank you!
Give Kids the World went far above and beyond what we expected. My daughter was granted a wish to go to Disney World and meet the princesses, and we were told we would be staying at Give Kids the World Village. I thought it would just be a "hotel room" type place, but when we arrived we realized it was sooo much more! The kids almost didn't want to leave the village to go to Disney World there was so much for them to do. The volunteers/staff were welcoming and amazing. There was nothing my daughter or I could have asked for that was not already thought of and done. Again...AMAZING!
my family was awww struck , bye the service , kindness, , the dedication of all the staff volenteers , my son felt like a king the whole week ! we could of stayed there just for our trip it was so nice !the food and condo was also amazing ,and the museum and stars in the building really bring life into focus and changes everything for me and my family .I couldn't thank these people enough in a life time for all it meant to me and my family !!1
My daughter, age 11 was granted a wish to go to Disney World. Give Kids the World did an awe inspiring job with that- but that is not what makes this organization so special. My daughter wanted a family vacation, she wanted more than anything for us to all have a good time. And that is where Give Kids the World excels. I never had to worry about a thing. Even on check in when my wish child was given a gift her sister also was given a gift, and that theme continued. Siblings are not left out at all. And while the wish child is made to feel super special the siblings feel special too. As a parent I loved the free meals, ease of access and fun and parties around every corner. They called and made sure we had everything we needed. Not one detail was lacking from the most amazing trip of my families life.